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November is National Diabetes Month

November is recognized as National Diabetes Month as a way to focus on helping people become more aware of the risks for possibly developing type 2 diabetes. About one out of every three adults is estimated to be living with prediabetes. Prediabetes is when blood sugar levels are higher than normal without someone showing any signs or symptoms. Bio-metric health screenings and annual wellness exams can check for higher blood and urine glucose levels to detect prediabetes, which can be reversed and help delay or even prevent type 2 diabetes.

Recognize your risks

The warning signs of prediabetes can go unnoticed, and over time, develop into type 2 diabetes. It’s important to know if you have any factors that could put you at risk.

  • Your age. Even though prediabetes can occur in children as well as adults, the risk increases with age. People over 45 years of age can be at greater risk.
  • Family history. If your parents or siblings already have type 2 diabetes, your chances increase.
  • Being overweight. Like many other medical issues, obesity carries a greater risk of developing prediabetes.
  • Inactive lifestyle. Regular exercise offers many health benefits. Exercising less than three times a week decreases your body’s ability to use glucose as energy.
  • Race and ethnicity. Research has found higher percentages of prediabetes in African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

If you have a combination of these or other risk factors, ask your doctor about having a screening to check your glucose levels.

How to reverse prediabetes

Getting a diagnosis of prediabetes does not mean you will develop type 2 diabetes. You can take steps to actually reverse your blood sugar levels.

  • Add at least 30 minutes of physical activity for at least five days a week to your normal routine. If you haven’t been exercising, start slow and build up to a reasonable schedule.
  • Keep your weight in a healthy range. Lowering body weight by just a few pounds can have a big impact on whether you could develop diabetes.
  • Follow a balanced diet by cutting out excess sugars in foods and drinks. Choose more vegetables, high-fiber foods and whole grains.
  • Set a better sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep by relaxing without your phone or TV in bed.

Be sure to visit your doctor for a yearly wellness exam and biometric health screenings to help you stay focused on your health before you experience any issues. Early detection of prediabetes can help prevent the development of more serious symptoms and possible type 2 diabetes. Midwest Express Clinic offers health screenings and wellness exams at our several Illinois and Indiana locations. Find a location near you and schedule an appointment!